With his horn-rimmed glasses, wacky stage antics, upturned trumpet, and those bulbous cheeks, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917-93) was one of the architects of bebop and Latin jazz. This sampler, culled from his Verve-associated recordings from 1950 to 1963, is the "soundtrack" to Donald L. Maggin?s thorough biography Dizzy : The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie. The stellar lineup includes pianists Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, and Kenny Barron, saxophonists James Moody, Stan Getz, and Charlie Parker, and drummers Buddy Rich and Max Roach. Diz?s swing-at-the-speed-of sound genius ranges from the quicksilver quartet burners "Bebop, and "Leap Frog," to the big band/large ensemble numbers, "Cool Breeze" and "Africana." "Blue Moon" features Gillespie with his swing era idol, Roy Eldridge. But the most striking selection is the Ellington/Tizol standard "Caravan," with Gillespie leading an Afro-Cuban percussion ensemble with the great conguero, Candido. As Maggin writes in the liner notes, "Dizzy?s music seems always fresh and electric and beautiful...It swept the world." --Eugene Holley, Jr.